Backup quarterback, as Joe Gibbs used to tell people, is the second most important position on a team. Teams that don’t have a viable option may be blessed with good health at the starting quarterback position for several seasons, but it only takes one injury to regret carrying a clipboard holding scrub. On the flip side, a team that has a viable option can still at least compete, and in rare occasions, win lots of games or even outplay the starter. In the case of the Ravens, is Tyrod Taylor that guy?
Good, solid backup quarterbacks used to be the norm in the NFL, but are the proverbial unicorns of the league today. Lots of teams can’t even find a decent starter, let alone a decent backup. If you want to see just how bad it has become, you can check out Chris Wesseling’s recent article that ranks all 32 backups in the league. The top half consists of mostly rookies and unproven guys. Many of whom have never even taken a snap in a regular season game. Yikes.
To find Ravens backup Tyrod Taylor, you have to scroll down to the bottom half of the list, where he falls in at number 21. It says a lot when almost every quarterback drafted in the last couples years (plus Mark Sanchez) finishes in front of you. While the list is highly subjective and we could debate it all day (Sanchez, #6, really??), it just emulates what most of the world thinks about Taylor. He has never done anything to show that he can go out and win games if the Ravens need him to at some point.
It’s part of the reason why the Ravens went out and spent a draft pick on Keith Wenning, even though they have shown a preference in the past to only keep two quarterbacks on the roster. It’s a warning shot to Taylor, and whether they are hoping he steps up or Wenning steals the job away remains to be seen. Realistically, the team likely hopes that Flacco will stay upright and Wenning will become that developmental passer that most teams prefer to keep as a backup. It sure beats having Mark Sanchez holding the clipboard.